Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate has accused the media of racism after she was cropped out of a group photograph taken with white people.
Nakate said that, for the first time in her life, she "understood the definition of the word racism" after “various” outlets including the AP news agency had removed her from photos. In response, AP said there was "no ill intent" and updated the photo, saying the photographer cropped it “purely on composition”.
Nakate appeared at Davos in Switzerland alongside fellow climate activists Greta Thunberg, Loukina Tille, Luisa Neubauer and Isabelle Axelsson.
In a video statement posted on Twitter, she said:
We don't deserve this. Africa is the least emitter of carbons, but we are the most affected by the climate crisis...You erasing our voices won't change anything. You erasing our stories won't change anything," she said.
I don't feel ok right now. The world is so cruel.
She said she had not been given an apology by AP.
After Thunberg heard about the incident, she offered support on Twitter, saying it was “unacceptable”.
The climate justice movement is often criticised for not being diverse enough, so it’s undoubtedly disappointing to see one of its most prominent women of colour accidentally erased in this way.